Ellen Gives Ja’neh ‘419’?


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted April 19, 2006


Political analysts and observers are wondering why the man who had served twice in his capacity as Acting Head of State of Liberia could receive such a “big political slap” from the Senate for the top post he was nominated by the President.

According to sources, former Justice Minister Cllr. Kabineh Ja’neh became the victim of a “big political game or 419” which led to his failure to pass the Senate confirmation for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

The sources alleged that one such person at the center of this game or stage manager is President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Sources noted that President Sirleaf, knowing Cllr. Ja’neh’s connection with the LURD rebel movement and the human rights violations he allegedly committed in the Gyude Bryant-led administration, would not have preferred him to any high position in her government.

The sources continued that due to President Sirleaf’s relationship with Madam Aicha Conneh, financier and executive of the defunct LURD who is said to have played a major role in her(Ellen Sirleaf) quest for the Presidency of Liberia, she had to nominate the former Justice Minister.

Information received by The FORUM indicates that Madam Conneh had earlier appealed personally to President Sirleaf to keep Ja’neh as Justice Minister but was assured that he(Ja’neh) would be given a bigger job on the Supreme Court Bench.

The sources said prior to this deal, President Sirleaf had already written the Liberia Bar Association requesting recommendations of individuals who are free of bad human rights record but later included Cllr. Ja’neh in her nomination.

The name of the former Justice Minister was never mentioned on the list of names recommended to the Liberian Head of State, leaving the Bar Association to wonder how he (Ja’neh) got to be nominated when in fact he did not meet one of the major criteria by practicing before the Supreme Court Bench for five years.

The sources further said President Sirleaf frankly knew that Cllr. Ja’neh did not meet the criteria but had to nominate him to the Supreme Court Bench to appease Madam Aicha Conneh.

According to information, failure by Cllr. Ja’neh to meet these criteria would not have allowed him to be confirmed by the Liberian Senate, something which would have freed President Sirleaf herself from the trouble.

Other sources from both the Executive Mansion and Legislative Branch told The FORUM that Cllr. Ja’neh was not recently confirmed by the Senate because the President was allegedly in constant contacts with some influential members to ensure that he was stopped.

Besides her personal impression about Ja’neh, according to our sources, pressure has been mounting on the President to ensure that Ja’neh does not sit on the Supreme Court Bench.

There are other reports that some members of the Supreme Court Bench and Bar Association are strongly opposed to Ja’neh’s confirmation despite attempts by some senators who filed in motion for reconsideration.

Sources said any attempt by the Liberian Senate to confirm Cllr. Ja’neh will create sour relationship between the court and the Senate on one hand, the court and the Executive Mansion on the other.

Cllr. Ja’neh was recently rejected by the Liberian Senate for the post of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court due to his alleged bad human rights record. However, a motion of reconsideration was filed on his behalf.

When President Sirleaf’s Chief of Office Staff, Morris M. Dukuly was contacted via cell phone for comments, he told The FORUM reporter, “I will call you back.” However, Mr. Dukuly up to press time did not call.

© 2006: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: Forum@theperspective.org